Fairy tale master Melanie Dickerson talks shop and offers giveaway

The Captive MaidenI’m particularly excited about today’s interview because, like me, Melanie Dickerson knows how fun it is to take a classic fairy tale and bring it to life in a whole new way.

She has reinvented characters like Beauty, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, and is now celebrating the release of her newest project, a retelling of Cinderella called The Captive Maiden (after the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy!)

I’m so happy to welcome her to Skipping Midnight.

Melanie DickersonReimagining classic fairy tales has become almost as timeless as the fairy tales themselves. Some opt for modern, some go totally dark. Your books retell them in a more historical, plausible way—set around the time they might actually have taken place. How did you decide on this approach?

To be honest, I don’t know! I decided I would take the basic premise of the fairy tale and make it realistic, set it in my favorite time period—the 14th and early 15th centuries—and write it as it might have actually happened. It was fun, challenging, and exciting, so I decided to keep writing more of them!

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So far, you’ve reimagined Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and now Cinderella. What can you tell us about your latest, THE CAPTIVE MAIDEN?

The Captive Maiden tells the story of Valten, whose betrothed ended up marrying his younger brother in the previous book, The Fairest Beauty. Valten was a great guy, but he needed to be the hero of his own story for all his best qualities to shine, so I set about giving him his very own maiden to be heroic for. I wanted to be true to his tough guy character but still make him complex and sweet. And my heroine also turned out to be pretty complex, as she had been mistreated most of her life, but she still wasn’t going to let anyone push her around without a fight. I thought they made a good combination.

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What do you think people will love most about this book? What do you love about it?

My favorite thing is how well the characters turned out, and the great chemistry you can sense in their romance. I have to say, I surprised myself, since Valten isn’t really my type. Haha!

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When it comes to being an author, half the battle is getting the word out. How do you go about promoting your work?

I do blog interviews. I also try to tell my Facebook friends. I don’t have any secret formulas or original ideas, honestly, I just try to do my part to tell people through social media and blogs, my own website and blog, Twitter, Goodreads, and my Amazon author page.

I think it’s so interesting that all of your characters connect in some way from book to book. What will be the next link? Can you share a little about what you’re working on now?

Laura, it is really fun to link the characters, and it has worked out and fallen into place. My next book is a Frog Prince story and is set to release in October. The heroine is Margaretha, who is Valten’s talkative sister, whom my readers met in the last two books, and the hero is the grandson of Annabel and Ranulf from The Merchant’s Daughter. This will be the first time I’ve been able to link that story to Duke Wilhelm’s family. I have plans to do more with Annabel and Ranulf’s family, so stay tuned.

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What is your writing process like?

I am very linear and I start at the beginning and pretty much write straight through. And I can pretty much write anywhere, but sometimes I get really stymied at home—I think because it’s too easy to get distracted and do everything EXCEPT write, so sometimes I do go to a coffee shop or restaurant to write. I can usually write 1,000 words an hour if I force myself to focus, but I have to take a break between hours. I need silence when I’m revising and editing, but when I’m writing the rough draft, I can write anywhere, and I sometimes like to listen to music. A favorite is Andrea Bocelli, because he sings in Italian and I don’t get distracted by it because I can’t understand the words!

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There are many rough patches on the road to publication. How did you get through the bad days?

I prayed. I cried and prayed, but I just never felt like I was supposed to give up. So I didn’t. I imagined how satisfying it would be to finally “make it” and to see how far I’d come. And it is very satisfying. I saved my rejections but I purposely didn’t count them until after a publisher said yes. It was a lot more than I had realized! Thirty-two rejections just on The Healer’s Apprentice alone. That might have discouraged me if I’d counted them before I found a publisher, but afterward, it just made the victory sweeter.

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What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writer?

Perseverance is the most important trait a writer can have. You must persevere.

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According to Melanie, the best way to keep up with her is on Facebook—either via her personal page or her author page. You can also chat with her on Twitter (@MelanieAuthor) and check our her website, MelanieDickerson.com.

WIN!

Comment below to win a print copy THE CAPTIVE MAIDEN (continental U.S. only). The giveaway will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, February 13, at which point I’ll pick a winner at random. Best of luck to you all!

If you are a published/soon-to-be-published author and would like to be interviewed for Skipping Midnight, please click here.

Sign up here for exclusive updates about Desperately Ever After and advanced notice of giveaways.

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7 Comments

Filed under Author Interviews

7 responses to “Fairy tale master Melanie Dickerson talks shop and offers giveaway

  1. I have no idea how your books escaped my radar. I am adding all of them to my reading list–so intriguing. Congratulations on the publication of The Captive Maiden:)

  2. rhonda

    Your books sound perfect for me.Running to get them!!

  3. Mackenzie Harting

    Can’t wait to read this one! I loved The Fairest Beauty!

  4. Thank you, Cathleen and Rhonda! I hope you will like them!

    Mackenzie, I hope you will enjoy The Captive Maiden too!

    Thanks so much, Laura, for having me on your blog!

  5. I’d never heard of this author, but I put her first book on hold at the library as soon as I heard word from Laura about this interview! I’d love to win the newest, it sounds right up my alley!

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